The Lucky Losers – In Any Town
Album Review of The Lucky Losers: In Any Town
Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz are the lead vocal pair of San Francisco’s The Lucky Losers, a place where the blues meet ’60s psychedelic organ rock while fronted by a cloud-pleasing vocal duo with chemistry and sometimes almost loungy banter. The band is rounded out by Marvin Greene on guitar, Chris Burns on keyboards, Tim Wagar on bass, and Robi Bean on drums.
The Lucky Losers kick off In Any Town with “So High,” whose soaring blues vocals and organ are supplemented by Berkowitz’s harmonica-work and psychedelic lead guitar from one of the many guest musicians on the album, Kid Andersen.
Lemons opens the next song, “It Ain’t Enough,” with a sultry vocal that’ll bring to mind a hot summer day in New Orleans in a shady PI’s office, with the constant hum of the fan obscuring a troubled dame’s pleas for help solving a crime when the cops won’t help, even though she can only pay the investigator with her grandmother’s diamond necklace, and the gumshoe isn’t entirely sure she wasn’t behind the crime all along. Or something like that. And the song maintains that feeling through keyboards, harmonica, and guitar riffs that complement the vocals.
The duo introduces its interpersonal playfulness on “Jackson,” though the true showcase for their banter is “I Can’t Change Ya,” a tune which, itself, has frenetic energy.
Perhaps my favorite song on the album is “Blind Man in the Dark,” a peppy number that mixes Motown and blues along with almost Randy Newman-esque vocals.
“In Any Town” has the sparse, tumbleweed Western ghost town blues flavor, slow and soulful with Berkowitz’s harmonica riffs punctuating Lemons’ rich, lamenting vocals, complemented by meandering guitar.
And closing track “Small Town Talk” is a vocal duet that just seems like an album-ender, coolly and confidently winding down the record as if it’s playing the performers off of the stage at the end of a show.
Really, beginning to end, this is a solid disc; a collection like this will satisfy loyal fans while expanding these talented singers’ audience.
You can catch The Lucky Losers live tomorrow night, Friday, November 18th at The Carlos Club in San Carlos, CA. In December, they’ll also be at the Smoking Pig (with Kid Andersen) in Fremont, CA on Friday, December 2nd and at The Saloon in San Francisco, CA on Thursday, December 15th. To see more information on those dates, new dates as they’re added, and 2017 dates already scheduled in Berkeley, CA, Houston, TX, New Orleans, LA, Englewood, FL, and Vero Beach, FL, check the live show calendar on The Lucky Losers’ website.